Switching careers with a UBC MBA

Is switching careers from physical education to banking an impossible leap? Absolutely not, says Kyle Peterdy, who is well on his way thanks to the UBC MBA.

Kyle studied Physical and Health Education at McGill University and taught middle and high school physical education and English for four years. He also spent time as a coach and administrator sports, running a youth lacrosse program and coaching college-level lacrosse at Dawson College in Montreal.

He decided to do an MBA because he wanted to go in a different direction with his career and open up new opportunities. Having looked at programs across the country and considering things like rankings relative to cost, post-MBA employment statistics and starting salaries, he settled on the Sauder School of Business.

Developing a network

“It was a great fit for me on just about all of those scales,” says Kyle. “I’ve found it challenging on occasion because my previous education is not in business or management. But at the same time it’s given me every opportunity I had hoped it would. It’s opened so many doors and I’ve been able to meet some incredible people, learn new skills and work towards the career change that I’m looking for.”

Kyle is already making progress on that score and his MBA internship is with the Commercial Financial Services Division at the Royal Bank of Canada.

“I look at it as a great chance to learn about the industry, develop my network and demonstrate what I’m capable of,” he says. “It’s a bit of a jump from my previous career for sure and without the UBC MBA I don’t think I would have been able to bridge that gap. The program has been a great experience and I’ve gotten tremendous value out of it.”

According to Kyle a big part of that value is the career support and advice available at Sauder. The school’s Hari B. Varshney Business Career Centre (BCC) provides students with a structured program of professional development and tailored advice to help them achieve their career goals.

Excellent resource

“The BCC is an excellent resource, particularly for career-changers like me who tend to lean on them a little more than others,” says Kyle. “Members of the staff deal with an incredible array of people who all have very different professional, cultural and linguistic backgrounds. They do an admirable job of making students as marketable as possible and helping to get them into roles that suit them. I don’t envy their position at all but I would definitely vouch for what a great job they’re doing.”

Despite his plan to make a big change in his career, Kyle hasn’t forgotten his roots. He says that he has put his background in sports to very good use in the team assignments and group work that makes up much of the UBC MBA programming.

“I use sports as an analogy for just about everything,” says Kyle. “It’s always been a big part of my life and I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned from it in terms of team building, hard work and commitment. It’s about creating a whole that’s greater than the sum of its parts.”


Name: Kyle Peterdy
Title: MBA candidate 2015
Track: Finance
Nationality: Canadian (Burlington, Ontario)